To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Arkansas families

Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Arkansas in the first three months of his administration.


Working Families:

  • Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $500 million back in the pockets of more than 1 million hard-working Arkansas families.
  • $25,133,767 to support child care for working families.


  • $20,117,400 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $48,114,415 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $39,416,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.


  • $727,318,689 potentially available to Arkansas to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.

Health Care:

  • $3,339,048 to fund 3 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 12,280 patients and create a projected 90 jobs.
  • $3,090,457 to expand services at 12 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 16,335 patients and create or save a projected 53 jobs.
  • $967,214 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $109,874,448 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
  • $1,652,144 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $351,544,468 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $28,409,450 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $22.1 for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Arkansas Construction Companies Began Hiring Again As State Expected 10,000-12,000 Jobs To Be Created Under Recovery Act. "Atlas Asphalt, a highway construction company from Batesville, has recently begun hiring again with the infusion of an extra $351.5 million Arkansas will have available to spend on road projects, thanks to the federal economic stimulus. A woman was hired last week to fill an opening Atlas has had for some time for a truck driver, said Mark Lamberth, the company's vice president. ‘I was much more prone to filling this position knowing we might have some work down the road,’ he said in an interview. Atlas also has openings for a mechanic and a position on a paving crew the company soon might fill, Lamberth said. The hirings likely will be among thousands of jobs the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department estimates will be ‘supported’ by the state's share of road-construction spending on the federal economic stimulus." [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 3/9/09]

USDA-Distributed Recovery Act Funding Will Help Rehabilitate Flood Control Projects in Scott County, Arkansas, Creating At Least 32 Construction Jobs."Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces the U.S. department of Agriculture is distributing $45 million in Recovery Act funds to rehabilitate aging flood control structures nationwide. These projects will help revitalize dams and rural economies by creating jobs services. Nearly $1.5 million of the money will be used to rehabilitate an aging flood control structure in Scott County, Ark. The Poteau River Multipurpose Dam No. 5 and reservoir provide flood prevention and water supply for Waldron, Ark…‘The rehabilitation work will extend the service life of the structure another 100 years allowing it to continue to provide flood prevention benefits and meet current safety requirements,’ said Kalven L. Trice, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist. ‘Since 1964, when the structure was completed, no major flood has caused significant damage to Waldron. The dam also protects poultry operations and farms in the area.’ The rehabilitation of Site 5 will ensure the present and future economic, social and environmental benefits will continue…The project will immediately contribute to the economic growth of the area by creating at least 32 construction jobs. In addition to the jobs created, there will also be an increased demand in other industries' goods and services that could generate an estimated $3.1 million into the economies of the Poteau River Watershed and surrounding counties, according to Trice." [KARK 4 News (AR), 4/15/09]

Newsroom Solutions: "$1.3 Million for St. Francis House NWA of Springdale" St. Francis House NWA of Springdale will receive $1.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Congress passed last month. Economic recovery funding for St. Francis House NWA is provided through a grants program of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Together with $1,299,754 for the White River Rural Health Center in Augusta and $739,294 for the East Arkansas Family Health Center in West Memphis, these recovery dollars will benefit an estimated 12,280 patients in Arkansas and will create or save 90 jobs, according to HHS. LINK

HHS Released Nearly $1M in Federal Stimulus Funds For Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs in Arkansas. "The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released $918,000 in federal stimulus funds to support foster care and adoption assistance programs in Arkansas. Adoption assistance programs will receive $470,000 and nearly $448,000 will go to foster care programs, the department said. The state Department of Human Services administers the programs…About 3,700 children are currently in Arkansas’ foster care program, and about 6,500 enter the program over the course of a year, Munsell said. From the program, the state completes about 400 adoptions annually, she said. For children eligible under Title IV-E, the increased funding will pay for any costs now related to health care, such as payments to foster homes and other expenses that go to caring for the child, Munsell said." [Arkansas News, 3/16/09]

Stimulus Includes New Transportations for Ozark Transit. "Ozark's board will meet today to consider the stimulus package, which includes $750,000 for a data tracking system, $411,000 for four new buses and $280,000 for eight handicapped-accessible replacement vans. ‘Without the stimulus package, we wouldn't be able to do this,’ [Exec. Director of Ozark Regional Transit Phil] Pumphrey said. ‘These were on a wish list. We were looking at eight years to do these things.’" [Northwest Arkansas News, 3/3/09]